Think Exist

thoughts on faith

John Wesley’s “Covenant Prayer”

I am no longer my own, but thine.

Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.

Put me to doing, put me to suffering.

Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,

exalted for thee or brought low for thee.

Let me be full, let me be empty.

Let me have all things, let me have nothing.

I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.

And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, thou art mine, and I am thine. 

So be it. 

And the covenant which I have made on earth, 
let it be ratified in heaven. 

Amen.

We prepare to witness a mystery. More to the point, we prepare to witness the Mystery, the God made flesh. While it is good that we seek to know the Holy One, it is probably not so good to presume that we ever complete the task, to suppose that we ever know anything about him except what he has made known to us. The prophet Isaiah helps us to remember our limitations when he writes, “To whom then will you compare me …? says the Holy One….” Think of it like this: he cannot be exhausted by our ideas about him, but he is everywhere suggested. He cannot be comprehended, but he can be touched. His coming in the flesh—this Mystery we prepare to glimpse again — confirms that he is to be touched.

Scott Cairns, in God with Us

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich (2011-03-21). God Is In the Manger (Kindle Locations 432-438). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition. 

polioshimmy:

monsieurlabette:

Juan Pantoja de la Cruz - San Nicolas de Tolentino; Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain; 1601
Saint Nicholas of Tolentino is widely venerated as the patron saint of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

Holy shit this is legitimately the best saint image I’ve ever come across (and I flatter myself that I’ve seen quite a lot of them).  The robe is great but then the bird in the dish pushes it over the edge.  I don’t even want to know the explanation, I refuse to google it.

polioshimmy:

monsieurlabette:

Juan Pantoja de la Cruz - San Nicolas de Tolentino; Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain; 1601

Saint Nicholas of Tolentino is widely venerated as the patron saint of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

Holy shit this is legitimately the best saint image I’ve ever come across (and I flatter myself that I’ve seen quite a lot of them).  The robe is great but then the bird in the dish pushes it over the edge.  I don’t even want to know the explanation, I refuse to google it.

(Source: signorcasaubon)

therosagreen:

flabmonster:

do yourself a favor and don’t become friends with people that you have to water yourself down for

this hits home

(Source: 2wire693)

ourspiritnow:

“I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place… I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this.” - Desmond Tutu
Archbishop and Nobel Prize recipient

ourspiritnow:

I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place… I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this.” - Desmond Tutu

Archbishop and Nobel Prize recipient

(Source: justathiex)

crashinglybeautiful:

"Most of us are like a fish caught in a hook. The Buddha is trying to reel us in; the hook holding us is our deep spiritual longing. We spend most of the time struggling, not wanting to be reeled in, not wanting to let go of all the things that we are desperately holding. While we often know that spiritual training will take us in the right direction, we say to ourselves, “But I need to do this,” or “I must have that.”
When we reflect on our lives, we see that we have been fighting what the Dharma is asking us to do: to let go and open our hearts; to embrace and accept everything that unfolds in both in our lives and the life of the world.
The anonymous author of the medieval Christian classic The Cloud of Unknowing describes a form of prayer that also aptly describes the essence of Buddhist meditation:
When you first begin, you will find only darkness, as it were a cloud of unknowing. You do not know what it means except that in your will you feel a simple steadfast intention reaching out towards God. Do what you will and this darkness and this cloud remains between you and God… By “darkness” I mean a “lack of knowing”–just as anything you do not know or may have forgotten may be said to be “dark” to you, for you cannot see it with your inward eye… So if you are to stand and not fall, never give up your firm intention: beat away at this cloud of unknowing between you and God and with that sharp dart of longing love.
This deepest form of prayer is really just the willingness to be still and let the longing in your heart go out without defining or understanding where it is going. This is faith. Our minds cannot see the goal of spiritual training. Meditation is the willingness to let go and learn to trust so that we may enter into this seeming darkness. In the passage from The Cloud of Unknowing, the writer is expressing the idea that our minds cannot grasp God, cannot even begin to say what God is, and yet our hearts are reaching out. A Buddhist way of saying this is that our small minds and intellects cannot even begin to fully grasp or understand the boundless life of Buddha.”
––An excerpt from a Dharma talk given by Kinrei Bassis, “The Buddha Calling the Buddha,” Learning to listen, PARABOLA, Volume 31, No. 2, “Absence and Longing,” 2006
Art Credit: Odilon Redon, Buddha Walking Among the Flowers, 1905.
via: parabola-magazine.

crashinglybeautiful:

"Most of us are like a fish caught in a hook. The Buddha is trying to reel us in; the hook holding us is our deep spiritual longing. We spend most of the time struggling, not wanting to be reeled in, not wanting to let go of all the things that we are desperately holding. While we often know that spiritual training will take us in the right direction, we say to ourselves, “But I need to do this,” or “I must have that.”

When we reflect on our lives, we see that we have been fighting what the Dharma is asking us to do: to let go and open our hearts; to embrace and accept everything that unfolds in both in our lives and the life of the world.

The anonymous author of the medieval Christian classic The Cloud of Unknowing describes a form of prayer that also aptly describes the essence of Buddhist meditation:

When you first begin, you will find only darkness, as it were a cloud of unknowing. You do not know what it means except that in your will you feel a simple steadfast intention reaching out towards God. Do what you will and this darkness and this cloud remains between you and God… By “darkness” I mean a “lack of knowing”–just as anything you do not know or may have forgotten may be said to be “dark” to you, for you cannot see it with your inward eye… So if you are to stand and not fall, never give up your firm intention: beat away at this cloud of unknowing between you and God and with that sharp dart of longing love.

This deepest form of prayer is really just the willingness to be still and let the longing in your heart go out without defining or understanding where it is going. This is faith. Our minds cannot see the goal of spiritual training. Meditation is the willingness to let go and learn to trust so that we may enter into this seeming darkness. In the passage from The Cloud of Unknowing, the writer is expressing the idea that our minds cannot grasp God, cannot even begin to say what God is, and yet our hearts are reaching out. A Buddhist way of saying this is that our small minds and intellects cannot even begin to fully grasp or understand the boundless life of Buddha.”

––An excerpt from a Dharma talk given by Kinrei Bassis, “The Buddha Calling the Buddha,” Learning to listen, PARABOLA, Volume 31, No. 2, “Absence and Longing,” 2006

Art Credit: Odilon Redon, Buddha Walking Among the Flowers, 1905.

via: parabola-magazine.

oakapples:

Ely Cathedral Choir were rehearsing for their Advent service when we visited today. Two choristers sang from galleries in the Octagon and by the clock at the far end of the nave. Pretty sublime.

I’m getting very excited because as I’ve started to look beyond just Unitarian (or similar openly liberal denominations), I’m finding so many options for churches that seem more in line with what I want.

The Lutheran church near me has a wide array of Advent services. The Episcopal church is devoted to social justice.

I still want to try out the Unitarian church, but I feel like I have options now.

My grandma would be thrilled if I went to the Lutheran church.

Watching Keeping the Faith, one of my favorite movies dealing with religion. Looking for a book to read on Advent.